Back to the office on Monday, which had the upside of a return to the university lake, last seen frozen over and largely deserted by the birds. Had anything changed?While it may well have changed over the two weeks I was away, by the time I was back a drop in temperatures had frozen things over again. As such, little was different from before Christmas.
It is worth noting the gulls seem to prefer the ice given the choice. While these photos were taken Monday, by Tuesday and Wednesday it was already thawing. Yet the gulls would huddle onto the thinning ice floes rather than hitting the water.
Some birds looked to be struggling, and this Mute Swan could be mistaken for crying for help.
No such issue though as it was perfectly capable of breaking the ice.
Fish eaters like the local cormorants are still about despite the difficulties of the frozen waters, taking up the perch high atop the central hall. Not quite sure what they have been catching, but they are obviously coping.
Where there is water, the ducks gather. I have often noticed in winter that birds, even water birds, become more active in bathing as this Mallard shows.
Speaking of Mallards, I will end on what must be an early contender for my personal favourite picture of the year. I call it ‘The Flasher’.